Date Night is a series of three illustrations for a class project on staging. How do you deliver a narrative in three acts—in this case, on the assigned theme of “date night”—without words or motion? It requires close attention to body language, which almost everyone understands intuitively but would be hard-pressed to explain. Body language is instantly legible, even across species barriers, but the only body we generally have control over is our own. Thinking abstractly about body language and describing it to others is a task usually reserved for the theater, hence the term staging.
We were allowed to use any media for these illustrations; I chose to stage mine in three dimensions using crumpled-paper figurines, cardboard sets and real light sources because it allowed me to use my instinctual understanding of body language to try out different postures and lighting until I was happy with the results. I shot the photos in black and white and added false duotone color in Photoshop, a reference to the bygone printing techniques of the early-20th century era that the phrase “date night” and the silent-film requirements of the project brought to my mind.